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Don't use coupons? Think you can't save money using... I wrote this in response (as a comment) to a comment quoted in a post on the Five Cent Nickle blog. ========================================================= Coupons are the single best way to...

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Working with credit card companies - the good, bad... A few months ago we knew we were headed into "negative" territory on our bills.  A perfect storm of events were happening and we could see what was going to happen. In our efforts to work with our...

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I paid 25c for all of this food.... 4 boxes of crackers 4 packages of cookies 2 boxes of cinnabon bars 1 hotwheel Had to throw the hotwheel in just cause I had a $1 left to "spend" from my freebie stuff!  How did I do it??? Albertson's...

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Allowances, complications, compensating for chores...... It was with surprise and well, a bit of disgust that I was recently reading a plethora of comments on a financial forum I participate in about this very subject. Let's see if I can reiterate without...

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Don't waste your energy on credit, you never need it... I love love love Trent at the Simple Dollar.  He has written for a while and has excellent advice, gives wonderful access to financial related resources and well, he's just an all around great guy (have...

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Don’t use coupons? Think you can’t save money using coupons? I challenge you !!!

Posted on : 18-11-2009 | By : The Wife | In : budgeting, Groceries, Stockpile

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I wrote this in response (as a comment) to a comment quoted in a post on the Five Cent Nickle blog.

=========================================================

Coupons are the single best way to reduce your grocery bill to nearly zero – on a consistent basis.

I feed and beautify a family of 6 (4 boys) for less than $400/month. Additionally, the last 2 months we’ve been supporting 2 other families (3 ppl and 4ppl) without depleting our stockpile or increasing our expenses. Additionally, we’ve given bags upon bags of food and toiletries to our food bank (this is very much needed right now).

I spend an average of 10 hours a month couponing, matching sales, planning the shopping and actually shopping multiple stores.

We have our own business in which I work full-time, so it’s not like I’m a SAHM that works this into my SAHM schedule.

Saving money has NOTHING to do with buying “generic” vs. “store brands”. It has everything to do with being flexible in the brands you do use, keeping coupons for everything, including things you’ve never used before and matching the use of store coupons/manufacturer coupons/sales/catalina’s to make the most effective use of your money.

You must be willing to try new products – to integrate things you’ve never eaten before – to make use of what is inexpensive.

I love challenging people who say they “save as much or more using generic” or people who say that coupons never come on the products they use (I guess they don’t take showers or baths, brush their teeth, wash their clothes, clean their homes, eat breakfasts, lunches or dinners, etc). In October alone we saved $100 off our previously “normal” budget of $675/month for our family of 6. However, the amount of food I bought for $525 was more than triple what most get for $525.

Stockpiling is KEY – buying enough of an item when it’s at it’s lowest price to stock up until it goes to it’s lowest price again (on MOST items it’s a 3 month cycle). Also watching for unexpected low low prices (ie, anything pork related was at an insane price the past couple of months because of the “swine flu” scare so I stocked up on ~100lbs of pork roast for 89c/lb) and, watching for seasonal items at their lowest – soups are always at their lowest in Sept/Oct/Nov, etc.

Anyway – I love that most people just are ignorant about coupons – it allows me to feed lots of people for very little money.

I also no longer care what people waiting in line think about how long it takes me at the checkout counter. They don’t live in my house and they don’t have to feed my family – I do. If going through checkout takes an extra 5 minutes (which it always does because of the amount of coupons I use) and saves me $500+/month – I’m doing it. I refuse to spend more money just to appease someone else.

I do love it when the person behind me sees just how much I save. When the total starts out at $150 and I end up paying $20, they notice. When the total starts out at $53 and I pay ZERO and I do TWO transactions back to back like this, they really notice. (these are real life recent examples).

Anyway – Mr. Stein – keep up the “get rid of coupons” mantra – I’ll keep using them :D

$500/month is nothing to sniff at – $6,000/year – that’s a great vacation every . single . year.

Target simply loves giving me free things :D . . . the ladies in line behind me were wowwed!

Posted on : 03-11-2009 | By : The Wife | In : Groceries

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dsc04046

Went to Target on Saturday and did the following . . .

1st Transaction –

  1. Bought 4 boxes of Kellogg’s Fiber bars @ $1.99 each
  2. Paid oop $8.14 including tax
  3. Received a $5.00 gift card (for buying the 4 pkgs bars)

2nd Transaction –

  1. 6 packages Keebler cookies
  2. 4 boxes Kellogg’s Fiber bars
  3. 3 packages Wonka candy
  4. Paid oop $0 (used some of gift card from 1st transaction)
  5. Received a $5.00 gift card (for buying the 4 pkgs bars)

3rd Transaction –

  1. 6 packages of Keebler cookies
  2. 3 packages Wonka candy
  3. 1 package M&M’s
  4. Paid oop $0 (used some of gift card 1st transaction)
  5. Still have $5.00 gift card from 2nd transaction

Total out of pocket for all 3 transactions was $8.14 plus I brought home a $5.00 gift card for future purchases.

Stopped at Walmart and picked up some free items…

Posted on : 06-10-2009 | By : The Wife | In : Free Finds/Yard Sale Finds, Groceries

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Stopped by Walmart for a couple of things I haven’t been able to find recently with coupons or cheaper else where – grabbed my Airwick $6.00 off coupons that I clipped and kept even though I never use those things, but I thought “who knows”…

Walmart had the items on sale for $6.00 and I had (4) $6.00 coupons.  Guess what I got?  Freebies!  No, I won’t use them personally, but I will be putting these $14.00 retail priced items into baskets as housewarming gifts for friends.

I love free!

I paid 25c for all of this food….

Posted on : 27-09-2009 | By : The Wife | In : Groceries

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25c for all this food

4 boxes of crackers

4 packages of cookies

2 boxes of cinnabon bars

1 hotwheel

Had to throw the hotwheel in just cause I had a $1 left to “spend” from my freebie stuff!  How did I do it???

Albertson’s is running the following deals this week:  If you purchase 10 boxes of select Kelloggs or Keebler items, you’ll get each item for $1.50.  I then had coupons for every single item above, mostly $1 off 1 item, PLUS, Albertson’s was so kind as to offer “twice the value” coupons in last weeks advertising mailer… I was allowed to use 3 of these in 1 transaction.  This meant that I spent $15.00 (10 things at $1.50/ea) and I had $11.00 in coupons.  So $4… however, I also had a $5 “catalina” received from another purchase last week (same as cash) and used this to pay for this purchase… which was why I needed to add something so that I could utilize the full $5.00 catalina.

This is what couponing is all about… getting all of these items for 25c and feeding my family on pennies.

(yes, I’m in the middle of painting my kitchen which is why there are no face plates on!!)